Posted in: Foodie, Fooducation

Hello my friends!  I’m boring this week.  I’m living for the little things.  I’ve been really busy at work (both jobs) so I have been looking forward to spending a minute at home.  Meal prep happened very quickly this week by eating some old favorites.  But I was looking forward to making something with my pumpkin that has been sitting on my counter since Friday.

Got a #pumpkin to make some pumpkin butter this weekend. What would you make with pumpkin? #fitfluential
Last Friday, we did the grocery shopping for the week because we went to Tyler for the race. We wanted to make sure we had our groceries when we returned. That’s when I decided to get a pumpkin. I’ve never done anything with a real pumpkin before so it was exciting.

Tip: Don’t get the big pumpkins because those aren’t for cooking. Those are more for decorating. Find the small sweet pumpkins or pie pumpkins.

#pumpkin in the oven. I'm making something but in not sure yet. Any suggestions? #fall #fitfluential #healthyeats
So last night I finally roasted the sucker. I Willie cut it in half and I scooped all the seeds and guts out. I saved the seeds for a nice roasted snack. I sprinkled it with cinnamon because I LOVE cinnamon and I let it roast in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes. I think my oven was running hot yesterday because I didn’t have to scoop anything out. The skin just came right off. I’m not complaining.

But now I have a conundrum. I don’t know what to make with the pumpkin. I pureed it down and let it cool so now I have a pumpkin puree. I also have a butternut squash puree too. I took it to social media yesterday about what to make and I got a lot of soup suggestions. The only problem is, I live in Texas and it’s still hot. I’m not in the mood for soup. Any other suggestions?

I was thinking of making a pumpkin butter but if I do that, I’m going to need a lot more pumpkin to fill up my crockpot.  A lighter version of pumpkin butter because all that kind of stuff is soo good.

Have you ever roasted your own pumpkin? Do you like pumpkin at all? Willie hates it but I have a feeling he’ll end up eating it anyway.

Posted in: Race Recap, Running

I was provided a free bib to the Tyler Rose Marathon in exchange for a race review.

On Sunday, I ran the Tyler Rose Marathon!  Last year I ran the half marathon and I kind of enjoyed it.  The course was really hilly and I remember thinking, “I would never run a marathon out here.” Fast forward to this year, I ran the marathon. Tyler is about 3.5 hours from home and a great excuse to hang out with some great people!

I'm running a marathon this morning and Willie is rubbing the half. Nice breezy morning!

There’s a method to my madness though.  I was supposed to run 20-22 miles for the Marine Corp Marathon training anyway.  I thought it would be good to do it while it was supported with people, water and snacks.  Plus, I knew I could sag out after I reached my mileage and still get a medal.  I wasn’t really sure if I was going to run the full marathon or not, but I knew I was going to get my miles.

Willie ran the half marathon.  I tried to give him tips about the course beforehand, but we all know no one listens to that stuff.  He had to learn for himself.

The race went better than expected.  I ran with the 4:40 pacer the first half but the hills kept getting steeper and I couldn’t keep up like that.  Plus, I have to stop at water stations and pacers typically don’t do that.  I wasn’t going to stress myself out trying to stay with the pacer after that point.  And honestly, I really didn’t want to run the first half of the course by myself.  The second half of the course intersected with the half marathon course so I knew I would at least see people there.

Here’s what I liked about the race:

  • The weather was spot on this year.  It was breezy and cool.
  • The route was pretty shaded and pretty.
  • The water stations actually had cold water and snacks!  Bananas and pretzels are always great.
  • The people were very nice.
  • The rose garden finish is beautiful.  There’s nothing like running in to a scene of pretty roses.
  • I got a rose bush at the finish.

What I didn’t like about the race:

  • The hills. You were either going up or going down. Nothing was ever flat. This irritated my ITBFS but I made it through.
  • The course was open to live traffic at some points and I think people were confused about what side to run on the road. I was almost hit by a car. When the course met with the half course, it was confusing what side of the road the marathoners should be running.
  • The streets of Tyler are not in good condition. Watching your footing was important and I’m not just talking about the red brick streets.
  • The medal isn’t the prettiest thing to look at BUT it’s better than last year’s medal so I guess I’m going to go neutral on this one.

I finished. No idea what my time was but I finished. Got my rose bush. #teamchocolatemilk #runchat #fitfluential #tylerrose #marathon
My official time was 5:15:18 which wasn’t bad for me considering it was really hilly. Take a look at my tights my friends. That is all the salt I was sweating out of my body. I didn’t realize it was that bad until looking at the picture. Willie told me it was all over my face but my legs. I’m going to have to find something to help me out with this problem.

I really enjoyed the race because of the people.  I was running with a group of people who had all lost weight 100+ pounds.  We shared our stories with each other and just had a really great time.  Everyone has a story that got them running, some of the scary some of them not, but we all go out there to run.  When you start running, you start talking and you discover a whole new side to people.  It’s truly an amazing thing!

This was a good race.  I really didn’t have any major complaints about it besides the medal.  I had a really good time and would run the race again.  I ended up giving my rose bush away because I would kill the thing.  I’m not a gardener!  Even if I was, I would be afraid my dogs would ruin the rose bush.

Do you have a green thumb?

Posted in: Working Out

I’m a firm believer in stretching but I know a lot of people who don’t stretch at all. I couldn’t imagine running a half marathon and not stretching…or doing a 45 minute spinning class and just walking out. I will admit, I wasn’t always a firm believer in stretching but then I noticed I started to get really tight and I had a couple of minor injuries.

Let’s just say I was scared straight into stretching and it was the best wake up call ever.

I’m sharing this information because a lot of you are just now starting on a weight loss/fitness journey and some things are just not as common sense as we believe them to be in the beginning.

Before we get to stretching, please take the time to warm up! If you attend a group fitness class, the warm up is kind of built in to your workout. It’s amazing what a difference 5 minutes of warming up will do for the body. But just as important is a warm up is, it’s important to have a cool down too. It’s important to bring your heart rate down.

This goes for any activity. Going for walk? Warm up and cool it down. Going to Zumba? Warm up and cool down. Running for you life? Warm up, cool down. And most importantly don’t forget to stretch.

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Here are some stretches I always do (in no particular order):
1. Quad stretch
2. Glute stretch
3. Calf stretch
4. Upper body stretches
5. Hamstring stretch

Meet my new best friend: the foam roller. Pesky IT band! #workoutproblems

And I’m a huge fan of foam rolling. I understand that it’s a controversial topic but it works for me. It helps loosen the muscles and keeps me going for my next workout it. Don’t get me wrong, foam rolling is not always fun but it’s a necessary evil.

Posted in: Foodie, Recipes

I like to share something from the kitchen every week so this week I’m sharing a super easy breakfast thing.

I think @williebeatfat makes a very pretty #egg muffin! #breakfast #eggwhites #healthyeats

I use to wake up every morning to make us egg white omelets. That was before I started teaching cycle at 5AM so I had to find a way to make breakfast in the morning easy and portable if needed to be. I decided on the egg white muffin because I can cook six at a time and it was a set it and forget it type of thing.

 

Egg White Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Try this quick and easy breakfast that you can make at the beginning of the week. Feel free to substitute a beaten egg instead of egg whites. You will need muffin pan not a cupcake pan because muffin pans are bigger.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ¼ c liquid egg whites
  • ⅛ c chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ c chopped spinach
  • ¼ c chopped white mushrooms
  • 2 slices thin sliced deli meat (optional)
  • Mrs. Dash seasoning, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. These instructions are going to make one egg white muffin. If you're going to make six, then repeat the process.
  2. Preheat the over to 425 degrees.
  3. Spray the muffin pan so that the finished product doesn't stick.
  4. If you're using the lunch meat, put that in the bottom of the muffin pan.
  5. Add the bell pepper, mushrooms, and spinach.
  6. Pour the egg whites over the veggies.
  7. Add your seasonings.
  8. Repeat this until all six muffin containers are filled.
  9. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the egg whites are set.
  10. Store in an air tight container and reheat in the microwave.

I eat my egg white muffin with a side of oatmeal every morning. It’s an easy meal that is easy to take with you if you need.

What I love most about the egg white muffin is it’s versatile. You can add whatever you want to it to make it your own. It’s all wrapped up in a muffin form. You can have a different version of an egg white every day of the week if you choose. It’s truly something you can go wild with by using leftovers or just doing something not so simple.

We keep ours simple with just veggies but now my mind is turning with what I can do to make it better.

Do you prefer egg whites or just a regular egg?

Posted in: Daily Life, For The Soul

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about things you should do everyday. I’m sure I’m going to come up with another of these lists, but for now:
Five things you should do everyday

1. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier and go for a walk.  Give your metabolism a jump start by getting a little active in the morning.  It doesn’t have to be a full on power walk but just something to get you going.  It will make all the difference.

I think @williebeatfat makes a very pretty #egg muffin! #breakfast #eggwhites #healthyeats

2. Eat a good breakfast.  They say it’s the most important meal of the day for a reason.  Don’t skip it.  Skipping meals is a big reason for weight GAIN!  Even if you can’t stomach a full meal in the morning, eat something or have a smoothie.  Breakfast helps get your metabolism working so don’t miss out on this important meal.

3. Unplug the electronics an hour before bed time.  This is a hard one I know.  Putting the phone down and turning off the television can help you get better sleep.  It will allow your mind to settle before bed and will help you get more quality sleep time.

Hello! I love @williebeatfat! Especially after I'm all sweaty after a #run! #runhappy

4. Smile.  Life may suck sometimes but smiling will make your day better.  I promise!  There might be something behind all these scientific studies but I know it’s hard to be unhappy when you’re smiling.

5. Compliment yourself.  We all spend time passing compliments on other people but you also should do the same for yourself.  Say it aloud because it will make you proud!  We love others but we also need to love ourselves.

What should you compliment yourself on TODAY? 

I’m complimenting myself on being extra product today at work, even when I didn’t want to do anything.

Posted in: Personal Goals, Weight Loss

It’s hard to go back in time. That’s what makes it a little difficult to blog here sometimes. When I blog here, I feel like I’m stuck in the in between. I think it’s time to get out of this place…it’s just not a good place to be.

Me

It’s called a transformation for a reason and my blog friends, we have transformed.

Weight loss was 2011. The struggle, the work, the dedication to losing the weight was then and it definitely not now. We BEAT fat! We continue to beat fat everyday, but it’s a difference.

I’m not saying we don’t remember what it’s like to be in weight loss mode because we do. But we don’t live in weight loss mode now. We live in the mode of reaping all the rewards and benefits of our hard work through weight loss.

It’s definitely a lifestyle change and WE are far removed from losing weight. I hit my goal weight back in Feb 2012 and now it’s the last day of September in 2014. I can’t live in 2012 anymore.

I’m not an expert at weight loss, it’s just something we did. Something clicked, we did the research and started out on a our path. We learned things a long the way that are tools we still carry with us now. It’s not always about weight loss, sometimes it’s just about life.

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I don’t have many weight loss stories to tell you anymore because I’ve mostly told them to you. That was two years ago and two years later I’m on to something else. I can’t believe it’s been that long! I can’t really tell you what I ate to lose the weight because I can barely remember what I ate two weeks ago, much less three years ago.

I can tell you this: there was no special trick. No fast food, no fried food, more lean meats and veggies and we just got up to get moving. Weight loss one pound at a time, that’s it!

Finished #RnRSA in the heat and got my @gotchocomilk! #myafter #teamrefuel #finishstrong 20 miles done today and now it's time for taper! #marathontraining #runchat #running

I’m doing good! Cycling, running, being active, traveling…that’s a HUGE part of me now. That is just who I am. I’m resourceful. I’m a creature of habit. That’s me. Right now I’m living out all my hopes and dreams because we committed the weight loss and it happened.

I TRY to do everything in a healthy way. If we could do it, you can do it too! I can’t usher anyone through the process but I can inspire and motivate you to be the best person you can be while on the journey. I’ll gladly share my tips and tricks with you, but I can’t live in 2012 anymore.

I have to show you and myself there is life after weight loss. I’ve said it many times, my weight should not define me so I shouldn’t let it be the “thing” I always have to talk about. There’s more to me than just that.

I have to lead through example and that is what I’m trying to do here.

I hope you can understand.

Posted in: Daily Life, For The Soul

This weekend I went to visit my bestie in Mississippi!  It was her son’s birthday so she had to put on a good show.  But first I had to get my run in.

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I love running there.  I must tell you, that is where I really fell in love with running.  That was the first city I ever ran in outside of Beaumont.  I was at peace there, running on the beach and just take it in.  It’s also the place where I tripped over a huge road sign while running in the early morning hours too, but that’s not important.

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Mandie’s theme for the party was Christmas.  People were supposed to bring toys instead of gifts for the lil man so they could donate them to the Salvation Army for Christmas.  I thought that was a great idea.  It was really cute.  She had Christmas tree sugar cookies and Santa came to visit!

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And I got the bounce in the bounce house.  I’ve waited my entire life to that.  You know being overweight will definitely shut that down for you!  I didn’t want to seem too overly excited to jump in it so I was trying to jump with the kids.  But they were all too busy playing one that didn’t look like a bouncy; it looked more like a Spartan race.  I jumped alone and it was fun!

And in between all this Christmas birthday madness, I got to talk with my best friend and it was what I needed! It’s nice and IMPORTANT to have a strong support system behind you.  Support is the most important thing.  But let’s not confuse support with surrounding yourself with “yes” people.  Support means being there to help you through the good and the bad times but also telling you the truth when you need to hear it the most, no matter how much it might sting.  When it comes from a good place, it doesn’t hurt quite so bad and you’re probably more likely to listen.

That being said…

All you people who think all I do is workout and run?  That’s not true.  I work out and run and REWARD myself with things like this…being happy!

What fun thing did you do this weekend?

Posted in: Daily Life, Foodie, Working Out

I spent the weekend with my best friend in Mississippi while Willie stayed behind to handle the dogs!  He also had to handle the grocery shopping so that we could successfully handle the Sunday meal prepping. For the record, my husband is AMAZING!

Having fun on my #run this morning! Mr trying to hit any specific miles just being at piece with myself. This place always feels like home! #Pascagoula #runchat #marathontraining #fitness #fitfluential #travelgram #mississippi

I got to enjoy views like this and he got to take the dog to get his shots.

Remember ho I told y’all Willie came in under budget for the grocery shopping?  He did it again.  Maybe I should start sending him to the store instead of going myself.  He did a really good job.  Our fridge is packed with food.  We might actually have too much food, but it’s ok.

I have so much I want to talk about but I feel the pressure to talk about my meal prep because it’s Sunday. I’ll have to save everything else for later, including the Christmas themed birthday party I attended this weekend. I’m kind of lacking on time at the moment so I’ll just get to it.

Thank goodness for a wonderful husband. He grocery shopped and made dinner for the week while I was driving home. I made the lunches. #sundaysetup #fitfluential #mealprep

This is what we’re eating this week:

Breakfast: nothing new is happening here. Same ole overnight oats and egg white muffins.

Lunch: Tuna salad with sweet potatoes and spinach..and probably served over a bed of romaine lettuce for me.

Dinner: Pork chops with beans, quinoa and whatever veggies need to be cleaned out of the fridge. Asparagus, spinach, green beans and peas. I’ll have to change it up because I think I need a break from broccoli.

Snacks: protein balls, greek yogurt and hummus with celery.

Pre-workout snacks: Larabars

I’m going to be out of town a lot for the next few weeks so I will be keeping my meal prep simple and easy.  I don’t want to have to make a fuss about it too much.

My best advice for meal prepping is to KEEP IT SIMPLE!  Save the fancy foods for when you have time to prepare them.  Maybe for a date night?

What’s on your menu for the week?

Posted in: Goals, Health, Personal Goals, Working Out

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope it’s been a great week for everyone.  It’s been a good week for me!  I’m always behind when I can’t do my meal prep on Sundays.  It’s been a very telling week and I’ve learned a couple of things about myself.

1.  I started logging my food again this week.  We can be friends on MyFitnessPal if you e-mail me.  I thought my eating was a little bit out of control.  Willie would tell you that was all in my head.  I learned that he was right.  I’m a grazer.  I cook and I nibble and it’s a really bad habit I’m trying to break.  The main problem is: I start prepping stuff when I’m hungry.  I need to be sure to drink some water before prepping food.  Anyway, logging my food again has been nice.  It started to become a hassle to me because I was eating the same thing everyday…and I still eat the same thing pretty much everyday.  But I like to make sure my macros are right.  I’m not eating enough fat in my diet as I mentioned before.  It’s a really great tool.

Totally #ran in the living room to reach 15,000 steps on my @fitbit! #active #stayactive #whyimove

2. My Fitbit died which makes me mad.  I just purchased the thing at the end of June and it just died.  Researching on the internet I see a lot of people are having the same problems which means there is a design flaw with the Fitbit.  E-mail customer service is still trying to get me through the system, but I found the number after an hour of searching the internet.  I called and they issued me a new FitBit.  I’m thankful for that but what does this say about the product?  I really like my Fibit but it might be time for me to try another one of these devices instead.  Do you have any problems with your FitBit?

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3.  Good friends are hard to find, but when you find them you should really invest in those friendships.  Everyone invests in their friendships in a different way but be sure to cherish the people in your life, especially the ones you want to keep around.  Last night we had our book club and it was just a great time to see my friends and just chat.  It took me a long time to find some friends in this city and now I’m glad that I’ve found them.

4. Listen to your body.  I’ve been having low blood pressure problems lately.  You know what the big issue is? My body wasn’t holding on to electrolytes so I have to have more that stuff in my life.  That gives me an excuse to buy some coconut water!  I’m not complaining about that.

Went on a #yogurt haul this afternoon. Stocking up! What's your favorite flavor/mix for your yogurt. I love black cherry and walnuts! #fitfluential

5. I really like yogurt!  Yesterday I had to go refresh the supply. I have such a great time looking at the new products and comparing.  Kroger’s off-brand greek yogurt is also 88 cents which is 12 cents cheaper than the name brand and it’s less sugar!  I think I may have found a winner, but it doesn’t come in the flavors of HEB which is a big bummer.

So on to the good stuff. I’m linking up again with Athlete At Heart to tell you about my weekly workouts:

Sunday: Plano Balloon Festival Half marathon. It was hot and fun. I’m glad I got to run the race with Willie.

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Monday: Took it easy because I needed to meal prep so I went for a 3 mile run with my running group.

Tuesday: Taught my freestyle cycle class and did a HIIT routine in the evening.

Wednesday: Group Power and an evening fast 5.11 mile run.

Thursday: Taught my Group Ride class.

Friday: 3 mile run.

Saturday: I’m going to run but I don’t have a set amount of miles. I just want to get out there and just run because I want to run.

My goal was to kind of take it easy this week but I couldn’t resist some workouts. I never made it to the pool but the pool schedule is changing soon so I’ll be able to go at a decent time. I have to get in some good pool time.

So how was your workout week? What are your goals for your upcoming workouts?

Posted in: Fooducation, Tips

We visit the grocery store on the REGULAR!  We used to go twice a week because our produce would get bad but I think we’ve finally gotten that under control.  I know I like to stick to a budget because I’m cheap thrifty.  I thought I would share some of my budget conscious tips with you.

Grocery shopping is done! Now it's time to meal prep! #sundaysetup #fitfluential

But I have to warn you, I’m a grocery store wanderer.  I will put things in my cart that I don’t necessarily need right now but might need later.  Willie makes fun of me.  True story: when I was in Denver, Willie was responsible for the grocery shopping.  He had a $100 budget and told him to buy most of what we needed because I didn’t think he would be able to get it all.  I was wrong because he only spent $88 AND we didn’t have to make an in between trips.  I was amazed.

Maybe I’m not the right person to be writing this post but I’ll give it a try.

1. Make a list. Make sure you put everything on the list.

2. Most importantly, don’t be like me and make the list and not stick to it.

3. Use coupons.  This is kind of a problem because we buy mostly produce and fresh items which tend not to have coupons.  It’s definitely useful to check the store ads before planning your menu so you can get those whole foods on sale.  If zucchini is on sale one week, guess what? We’re eating that all week long!

4. Know your grocery store setup so you don’t aimlessly wander around the store.  Chances are if you’re doing that, you’re going to drop extra stuff in the basket.

5. Shop the perimeter of the store.  It’s faster and that’s where the healthiest of foods are located.

What’s our grocery budget?  I try to spend no more than $125 per week.  That pretty much buys us enough food for breakfast (7 days), lunch (6 days), dinner (5 days) and most snacks.

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I’m always trying to find ways to cut back on the bill because it will fluctuate with different seasons.  I will buy off brands if it comparable to the name brands.  This week’s find was HEB Greek 100 yogurt.  It’s 88 cents cheaper than the Yoplait version and it comes in some great unique flavors. I enjoyed the melon more than the cherry limeade though.  When I think of cherry limeade I think of Sonic drink…this just didn’t pack the flavor punch I was expecting.  Melon on the other hand was more along the lines of what I expected.  I would definitely buy both again though.

Willie also suggests buying things in bulk. The warehouse stores are starting to carry more healthier items in bulk like Flatouts, nuts, yogurts, bars and things a long those lines. That way you can buy them up and make it last the entire month!

How often do you grocery shop?